Planning made easy

Building automation using KNX is an established standard for controlling functions such as heating, lighting, sunblinds, ventilation or safety technology. The control of these is achieved seamlessly through the use of KNX technology, a system that offers significant advantages over other alternative approaches to building automation and control.

The main benefit of KNX technology is that you are not restricted to using products from one manufacturer because hundreds of manufacturers worldwide produce products to take advantage of KNX technology and they are all compatible. This effectively makes a KNX based solution future proof because if one particular product becomes obsolete, another one will almost certainly have been developed to do the same job and offer the same compatibility, functionality and ease of installation. Another benefit is that because every KNX product works on the same principle, there are no integration issues or extra engineering costs.

The gesis solution

Wieland Electric is a KNX certified manufacturer and developed gesis EIB V as a plug and play solution to enable integrators to achieve the flexibility which is needed for efficient building automation. It is part of a whole range of products and stands out because of its flat design and direct adaptability to the 7 pole flat cable. All of the devices in the range are KNX certified and use twisted pair as the transmission medium.

A major benefit with this technology is that in areas where there is minimum installation space, the devices are suitable for installation near the load areas which is perfect for both new-build and retrofit applications. In addition this technology is suitable for a decentralised installation and in keeping with all KNX based systems, is interoperable with all KNX certified devices.

The planning stage

When it comes to planning an installation, whether it is a traditional or a KNX based solution, architects and electrical engineers cannot do without CAD planning tools whenever reliable information for design and cost development of a project is required in advance.

Like all forms of building management systems, the key to achieving efficiencies once the system is in place is in the planning and it is therefore important to ensure that attention is paid to every last detail.

It is for this reason that Wieland took the decision to support components from the KNX Bus system in the gesis PLAN planning software.

Using this planning software, architects, designers and installers can design and calculate their pluggable electrical installations conveniently and more importantly, without any special knowledge.

How it works

One of the main things which we have tried to achieve with this software is to make it easy to use, covering every aspect of an installation which would be required. By importing the AutoCAD drawings of the rooms and building segments together with details of the luminaires, outlets or sunblinds, each part can be positioned in 3D views on the PC and with only a few clicks of a mouse they can be wired with distribution boxes and flat cables.

One of the main problems with any installation is meeting the correct standards and building regulations and quite often certain key elements can be overlooked, causing problems at the installation stage. This is one area where we have really simplified the process and the recommended connector codings are considered automatically and compliance with the relevant standards checked. In addition the electrical installation is calculated and checked for the permissible currents and voltage drops and any potential problems are immediately identified.

Software wizards guide the user through the various screens ensuring that every last detail is attended to and the end result is that the designer receives a parts list with accurately calculated cable lengths and detailed price information, safe in the knowledge that any issues which could arise have already been dealt with by the software.

The benefits

The benefits of this software are enormous. KNX has been one of the main methods of building automation in Europe for many years and with the installations at Heathrow T5 and MediaCity it is now gaining in popularity in the UK.

As with any new technology there is always an issue of getting the installation right and with so many products from different manufacturers to choose from, designing for KNX can be a daunting task, not least in ensuring that it meets all the required building regulations and standards.

What this software brings to the installation is simplicity. From a basic CAD drawing you are only a few steps away from planning an entire installation which means that you can offer your clients the full benefits of a KNX installation with the associated energy and cost savings which this technology is renowned for.

In addition you can be safe in the knowledge that the parts list which is generated meets all of the required standards and will meet the needs of the client whatever the project.

Future proof

The term future proof is being used more and more in the building services industry with manufacturers and integrators constantly trying to second guess what new technology will be on the market in the next 12 months. But realistically you don’t need to guess because the benefit of KNX technology is that it takes the guesswork out of any installation.

The fact that a number of big names in the industry have a whole suite of KNX certified products suggests that this is technology which you can trust, and the ongoing research and development means that there will always be a wide selection of products to suit any installation.

The pressure is on for the entire industry to make savings in both costs and energy and by using a KNX solution you are ensuring that the end-user will benefit from these savings from day one – a fact which it is not easy to overlook. By making our gesis PLAN software available to the industry for KNX installations we are making it easy for designers, architects and installers to take advantage of the benefits which KNX has to offer and take the guesswork out of an installation.

KNX is a simple way to ensure that every installation is future proof and that it meets the needs of the industry in making the relevant energy and cost savings. The fact that the planning stage has now been made easier means that we are making this technology available to a wider market who can enjoy the true benefits of a future proof installation.

This software is available free of charge at gesisplan@wieland-electric.com

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